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Survivors will be guests at launch of RNLI Lyme Regis lifeboat history book

Lifeboats News Release

A couple who were rescued after their helicopter plunged into Lyme Bay and a woman in her seventies seriously injured on rocks near Charmouth will return to Lyme Regis for the launch of a book which includes their remarkable stories.

Cover of the new book

RNLI/Richard Horobin

Cover of the new book

Also among guests at the launch at the town's lifeboat station on 22 July will be the parents of a severely disabled woman who died when her wheelchair fell into the harbour.

The book is part of a history project by the RNLI charity and tells the story of almost 160 years of a lifeboat service in Lyme Regis.

Author Richard Horobin, the lifeboat station's volunteer press officer, said:'We are delighted that some of the people featured in the book will be coming back to meet their rescuers again including lifeboat crew, coastguards and fishermen.'

Philip and Lisa Burgess were rescued after the helicopter Philip was flying crashed into the sea in dense fog on Easter Monday, 1999. Lisa was pregnant at the time, although their rescuers did not know, and her daughter Charley-Nicole will be paying her first visit to Lyme Regis.

Mariola Constandinou, from the Midlands, was 71 when she slipped on rocks and was seriously injured near Charmouth in May two years ago and is looking forward to meeting her rescuers again.

Mark and Paula Perkins, whose daughter Claire died when her electric wheelchair fell into the harbour, will once again be visiting the town to help with Lifeboat Week events and will also be at the book launch.

Also at the launch will be John Bradley, the great great grandson of Thomas Bradley, a coxswain of the Lyme Regis puling and sailing lifeboats for 30 years who joined the crew in 1851.

Dorset-based actress, impressionist and comedian Debra Stephenson will be opening Lifeboat Week after the book launch at 12.30pm on 22 July.

RNLI/Richard Horobin

Mariola after her fall.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland